google hangouts

Overview of Google Hangouts

Recognizable by its green apostrophe logo, Google Hangouts is an instant messaging service. Included in the American search engine’s pack of offers, it is also a videoconferencing service. Find out everything you need to know about this application available for Android and iOS smartphones.

Google Hangouts, a chat platform

Formerly called Video-bubble, Hangouts is an instant messaging and videoconferencing application that has been around for more than 10 years. You need a Google account and an Internet connection to connect. The application is intended for Smartphones, but can also be opened on a computer browser. The Chat feature allows you to chat with other users.

It is possible to join a private chat room which functions like a Messenger group or forum. Members may be invited to integrate existing dialogues. Each participant can take part in multiple conversations. The platform includes bots for professional use. When it was launched, Google Hangouts was aimed at businesses, in response to its main competitor Slack. Since then, the corporate communication tool has become democratized.

A very complete video call service

A videoconferencing tool designed for businesses, Hangouts can bring together up to 10 people in a single discussion. It allows you to share various types of files instantly. Synchronized with Google Drive, this collaborative platform allows the distribution, but also the online modification of common documents. Users can even switch to YouTube, Google’s video site.

Practical during periods of confinement and teleworking, Google Hangouts includes features such as screen sharing. One or more correspondents will then be able to see what is displayed on the monitor of an interlocutor. Verbal communication makes this tool particularly effective. It differs from the others by voice effects and image editing.

Enriched features for this application

Thanks to its varied features, Google Hangouts is a technical support of choice for virtual meetings in business. In addition to instant chat, videoconferencing and video broadcasting to the general public, voice calling is another deployed channel. It allows you to reach participants on their mobile phones. Several people are brought together in an audio conference, in particular thanks to Google Voice.

Hangouts has the advantage of being part of an ecosystem orchestrated by Google. The latter offers synchronization with the Drive photo storage space. It also corroborates with Slideshare and Symphonica for those who want to co-manage business tasks. The list grows with Cacoo, the diagram sharing tool. Then, there is direct access to the Google office suite. This pack includes Docs for texts and Sheet for Excel-type tables.

Great compatibility for this application

On PC, Google Hangouts is compatible with all operating systems. It works in particular on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Owners of computers running Ubuntu or Debian will also be able to benefit from it. The web version of Hangouts can be launched on the browser. There is no specific download to do on Google Chrome or Firefox. Those using Microsoft Internet Explorer and Safari will need to install a plug-in.

For PCs, you have to go to the hangouts.google.com site. Those who have an active Google account will be able to access directly from Gmail. It’s even easier with the Hangouts Chrome extension. With an Android phone, you must download the Hangouts application for free from the Google Play Store marketplace. Owners of mobile devices running iOS (iPhone and iPad) will also have to install it from the App Store platform.

Simplified connection on mobile and web

Once in Gmail, Hangouts is located at the bottom left of the web browser. In this case, you must open the Settings and Activate Chat. Further explanations are available on the Google email support pages. It is possible to connect to the application without using Gmail from the hangouts.google.com address. For disconnection, a button at the top right has been provided.

On Android, simply select the Hangouts app and enter a Google account to connect. To exit the program, go to Settings, then press Disconnect. With iPhone or iPad, you must use the Start Menu. The path to log out is next to the active account. The down arrow takes it offline on the terminal.

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The professional version of the application

Normally, Hangouts Chat is for those who have a G Suite account. This is a Google offer for professionals. Often, companies wishing to subscribe to this ecosystem must pay the price of a subscription. This allows them to have a pro version of Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Docs and the rest of the applications published by the Mountain View firm. It is recommended to sync your email inbox with Hangouts Chat. Exceptionally, companies registered in the beta program will not be able to use the classic version.

To connect to Hangouts Pro, you must go to the chat.google.com platform. Otherwise, it is always possible to install the dedicated application on a PC or Mac. A version for Android is also available on Android. Just download it from Google Play. The same approach is recommended on the App Store. After a quick installation, the program is immediately operational. The user should start by signing in with a Google G Suite account.

The audio call in the professional context

Hangouts Chat allows you to make a phone call. To use it, you must have a Google Voice account. This program reserved for businesses is included in the Pro G Suite pack. The composition is carried out from a discussion with the contact to be contacted. There is a Call button in the interface. A list of numbers is automatically displayed. The user must select the correct one.

Google accesses the directory from the Contact app. The Android editor also explores the recipient’s profile. The company directory completes the list displayed on Hangouts. The call in question is made from Google Voice and not from the usual Phone program. Picking up requires clicking the End Call button in Voice.

A technological adventure started in 2013

The launch of Google Hangouts dates back to May 2013. At the time, the firm wanted to merge several of its services. Indeed, the ecosystem already included Google Talk, Google+ Messenger whose functionalities were similar. The respective developers of these programs came together to create the lines of code for an instant chat and videoconferencing application. The Internet giant has thus developed a product capable of standing up to the competition. The app joins the ranks of Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger and Viber.

Google then seeks to overtake the others with a more complete tool for businesses. Hangouts was one of the most used dedicated applications for video conferencing and other virtual seminars. Companies quickly adapted it to make it an online training medium. It was also a free and ad-free alternative to classic SMS. It even attempts to replace traditional voice calls.

A complement for the Google+ social network

In its early days, Hangouts was integrated into Google+, the company’s social network. Since then, the search engine has revised its strategy and offered the instant messaging application to Gmail owners. In any case, the connection is still very simple once the person has activated their account. She has access to 850 emoticons to express her emotions to the people she is talking to. The latter are professional relationships, but also individuals whose number is in the directory. Hangouts replaces SMS.

Video conferencing is available on the Google+ home page. The only condition for communicating with other people would be their connection to a Google account. A system of “circles” allows you to classify several discussions. Some exchanges are strictly professional while others extend to families and friends. In any case, invitations should be sent individually to contacts or collectively for an inclusive group.

Our opinion on Google Hangouts

Although other instant messaging apps have taken over, Google Hangouts is still relevant. There was a time when the program was mandatory in some companies. Bosses use it to remind employees to check their email. In fact, the message lands directly on the recipient’s phone in the form of an SMS or MMS. In short, this app has a certain sentimental value for those who knew it.

Then, the various features of Hangouts are still worth using. The firm allows you to make a group video call for free. Up to 10 friends can enjoy it. That said, businesses prefer to turn to newer solutions such as Google Meet. On Android, the Messages application is much more complete than the SMS program limited to 140 characters…